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Clitherall Lake Smallmouth...

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I was wondering if anyone here has heard how that stocking program is going, and if there becoming a common occurance on the lake? I've been meaning to get over there and give it a run, but time hasn't been on my side.

I'm a Smallmouth junky, so any info would be greatly appreciated.

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We vacation on Clitherall one week every year in the first half of June. When we were up there three weeks ago, I landed a couple nice ones (16"-17") fishing the long narrow underwater point that separates the eastern and western lobes of the lake. I used my old standby, leech and slip bobber, about 6' of water. I assume fish will be a little deeper now with the hot weather. In case you're not familiar with the lake, be careful of this point. It goes from over 20' of water to about a foot and a half in a hell of a hurry. Rocky too. It was well marked with several buoys when we were there, but I've seen the time that it wasn't marked at all.

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Thanks for the info Bucket. I'll be sure to get over there this weekend and give 'em a try.

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Guys, Clitherall Lake isn't a smallmouth lake yet. The stocking only started a few years ago. Before that there wasn't any in the lake. Currently and probably for many years its return immediately to the lake for the smalleys.

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Rock and Crankbait,

Of course I assume any responsible angler fishing Clitherall would realize it is catch and release only for smallies. It may not be "a smallmouth lake" yet, but the fact is the fish are there, are fun to catch and beautiful to look at, and by all accounts that I have heard, are successfully reproducing. What lake in the Otter Tail area is "a smallmouth lake"? In eight years of vacationing up there, out of hundreds and hundreds of fish I have caught, I have landed only the two smallies I caught this year. I think the state record was caught on West Battle, but the area hardly offers what I would call premier smallmouth fishing. (On the other hand, I've had days when I caught so many largemouth that my thumb was raw from lippin 'em) Crankbait, did you ever make it over there? Anybody else want to chime in here? Good luck!!

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Bucket,
I have, several times.

The first time I went over there, we did really well. We caught six or seven smallies between small and about 2 1/2 pounds. But, the largemouth and walleyes were great. My cousin caught a 21 inch largemouth, and I got a 28 1/2 inch walleye. We caught several other very nice Largemouth as well.

Another time we went out a hurricane blew in with 90 mph winds. Before that hit, we were killing bass. After, it was really tough.

Went over there two weeks ago, and got some good fish. I had a really good fish on using a tube, but it broke my line. Also, caught a 31" northern.

I cait wait to fish Clitherall in the fall. I have a really good feeling.

PS
Clitherall will be a great smallmouth lake in five years. The habitat is perfect.

Also, Pickerel Lake NE of Ottertail is a great, and secret, smallie lake. I've caught several in the 4lb. range and a couple 5er's. You won't get a ton, but when you do it's a real quality fish. But, keep it a secret.

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Crankbait,

Sure sounds like Clitherall is "on it's way". Thanks for the info, I'll have to try that "secret" on next year's vacation.

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Hey Crankbait,

You mean the Pickerel NW of Ottertail, straight south of the western basin of Dead Lake? Looks like there's two other Pickerels in Ottertail, both very small and no apparent public access.

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Yeah over 800 according to the DNR map. I meant the other two are small, 65 and 30 acres. Anyway, Crankbait, thanks! All this fishing talk makes me want to take a fall vacation up ther too!

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I guess it is NW of Ottertail. I've never looked at a map in relation to Ottertail. It just seemed NE. It's actaully not that small it's about 800 acres.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • huntnfish
      I made it out last Sunday and did some searching for walleye. The search didn't produce any walleyes, just northerns and smallies. The water temp on the main lake was 58-59 with the bays being about 5 degrees warmer. The people I have talked to have had similar issues finding the eyes. We missed some fish that left the shiner all chewed up. Most of the fish marked were out in that 18-21 foot range which seemed pretty deep for this early. It could have been Saturday's cold front that pushed them a little deeper though. 
    • Hoey
      SRJ - Thanks for the report.  I heard the bite was very-good to excellent, off the rocks/reefs, in the mud/sand.  I will be at the lake fishing this weekend.  
    • srj
      What a couple perfect days for LOW on Monday-Tuesday. Fish seemed to be biting well from shallow to deep and from the south side to up north.  Caught fish from 7 - 28 feet in good numbers and sized from small to large. There seemed to be a lot more fish on sand and mud than rocks. Quite a few males caught near rocks were full of milt. Biggest an 28 1/4. Most on jig and minnow but some on crankbaits. Sure a big pack of charters hanging around the Knight Island shoal. Warm, calm and no bugs!! Hope Memorial weekend winds stay light. My new to me Ipilot Link Bluetooth remote somehow changed to German, Dutch or some other language on the display. Anybody ever have that happen? Good luck this weekend.
    • Mitch K
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    • Stephen L Johnston Jr.
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    • jigging-matt
      Nice pics.  Can't wait to get out this weekend and give it a try.
    • Nix769
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    • paceman
      Last night my son and out went out for quick panfish trip to a local lake after dinner. Did not have any live bait but we usually do well tossing small jigs/plastics. Surprisingly we were the only boat at the landing and the only boat out fishing on this heavily developed lake. It did not take us long to find the huge sunnies. They were really stacked in 4-6'. The lake was pretty calm and we could hundreds of them swimming under the boat. We didn't stay there long but they were very aggressive. I had one that touched 10" and a few others over 9. We did not keep any. Looking for active crappies we went to spot number 2. Again going super shallow we could see quite a few in 2-3' around there beds. They of course were pretty spooky and did not like the boat being so close. We backed out and tossed into and around lilly pads. We ended up catching about a dozen. All released. I wish I wouldn't have left my phone in the truck as I would have loved to get a picture. Just amazing how black they are right now! Again didn't stay very long. Just a quick trip to scratch the itch..